Which IT Department Should CFOs Hire In Response To COVID-19: Internal Or Outsourced?
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to change the way we live, work, and connect, it’s an important time to consider what’s next. In truth, the event we’re living through is unprecedented with school closures, large-scale lockdowns, and businesses being forced to shut down or embrace remote work.
It’s an uncertain time, especially for CFOs in charge of handling the finances amongst the fear, panic, and economic changes happening right now and into the future. Naturally, the CFO plays an integral role right now - determining what’s necessary to keep their organization afloat, despite the majority of businesses facing difficulties associated with:
- Less cash-flow available
- Supply chain disruptions
- Decreased revenue
- And much more
So what do CFOs need to know about hiring internally vs. outsourcing when it comes to managing their information technology? Well, for many, the most important thing to keep in mind is that information technology shouldn’t be overlooked during this difficult time. Information technology has played a crucial role in many organizations tackling the challenges associated with remote work.
How Information Technology is Keeping Many Organizations Afloat
Many organizations have embraced remote work in response to social distancing and shelter-in-place orders. Naturally, information technology has played a crucial role - allowing them to:
- Access files, applications, and systems from the comfort of their own homes
- Collaborate with colleagues, partners, and customers via video conferencing solutions
- Stay secure against the influx of phishing attacks related to the pandemic
- Maintain communications with cloud-based phone systems that keep staff connected
Although information technology has played a critical role in maintaining the safety and survival of many organizations across the nation, CFOs must not overlook the fact that information technology should also play a role in the next two steps they need to take:
- Stabilizing the business in anticipation for the end of lockdowns
- Preparing the business for greater resiliency before another disruption occurs
Hiring an Internal IT Department or Outsourcing to an MSP
As the duration of the coronavirus pandemic remains unclear, it’s time for CFOs to optimize cash reserves as much as possible. Although information technology is incredibly valuable right now, who should manage that information technology? Financially, what makes the most sense: hiring an internal IT department or outsourcing to an MSP?
Although there are many qualified, talented technology professionals out there for hire, the following costs will be required:
- Training and certifications
- Vacation time
- Sick days
- Workstations and other necessary equipment
An MSP, on the other hand, is available at a flat-rate monthly fee - delivering all of the services and support you need without the additional expenses. This means you gain the following benefits:
- More training and certifications as they keep their team up-to-date on the latest skills, education, and knowledge at their own expense
- Greater availability for support as they’re available around-the-clock with a team of experts who have varying skill-sets
- Lower, more predictable costs that can be accurately budgeted for every month while preventing downtime with proactive measures
So what makes the most sense financially? The MSP tends to be more affordable - giving you more cash-flow available as well. There are no upfront costs associated with setting up a workstation for them or providing any necessary training or certifications.
How An MSP Helps CFOs Stabilize The Business And Prepare
As we mentioned above, the CFOs’ primary goal right now is ensuring the safety and survival of the organization. But afterward, they must focus their efforts on stabilizing the business in anticipation of the end of lockdowns and preparing the business for greater resiliency before another disruption occurs. An MSP can assist with both of these steps - as outlined below:
- An MSP assists with stabilizing the business as they turn the ad-hoc remote work approach into an organized, cohesive strategy that incorporates the right tools and technologies, such as:
- Microsoft Office 365 for any time, anywhere access to word processing, spreadsheets, calendars, contacts, email, and video conferencing
- VoIP business phones that ensure communications as employees can access their work lines, along with transferring and extensions, from home
- Virtual private network (VPN) technology that provides a secure, encrypted tunnel for employees accessing the network
- Cloud-based line of business applications to ensure ERP systems, accounting programs, CRM solutions, and more are still accessible
- An MSP assists with preparing for greater resiliency as they can assist with reforming and reimagine business processes and procedures from a technological standpoint:
- Automating time-consuming, routine tasks to minimize the reliance on human resources as much as possible
- Safeguarding internet connectivity now and into the future with backup lines, redundancy, and alternative connectivity protocols
- Ensuring business intelligence with real-time insight into data for the ability to make well-informed decisions